Some are worrying that Sony Pictures will deliver yet another bland interpretation of Peter Parker for the upcoming Marvel-approved “Spider-Man” reboot. We’ve had two fairly similar versions so far, do we need another?
On the one hand a more modern and less familiar incarnation like the Miles Morales character would signal that the studio was willing to try something different, on the other there’s a reason the most classic interpretation often works the best even if it is more familiar.
Those upset over the decision to go with another version of Peter Parker may have misdirected their anger. Gawker has posted what they claim is a licensing agreement between Marvel and Sony which suggests Marvel has very strict contractual obligations in place about the character both in terms of casting and behavioural aspects.
Strangely this agreement (an intellectual property contract as such) went into effect in September 2011, a month after Morales debuted in the comics and several months after the first “The Amazing Spider-Man” film had wrapped shooting.
In the agreement, any version of Spider-Man (Peter Parker or not) must be: Male, not gay, can’t have sex unless he and his partner are 16 or over, can’t abuse alcohol, can’t sell/distribute drugs, can’t smoke tobacco, can’t use language beyond a PG-13 level, can’t torture, and can’t kill unless in defense of self of others.
Also in the agreement, if Peter Parker is Spider-Man then he must also conform to the following traits: Caucasian, heterosexual, he’s orphaned and raised by his middle class and Queens-based Aunt May & Uncle Ben, he gains powers from a spider bite whilst either a part of a Queens-based high school or New York-based college, he designs his first red/blue costume, and he does not design the black symbiotic costume.
This would explain why “Community” actor Donald Glover, once rumored for the character, would not be under consideration for the role of Peter Parker for example as it would be a breach of said contract.
Of course there’s loopholes in these conditions. Going by the rules above, a non-Peter Parker Spider-Man could technically be a twenty something bisexual Puerto Rican hustler who smokes pot, consumes heroin, seduces cougars, insults people in a made up language, and kills a bus full of people to save the populous of an entire city from destruction.
The newest person to be cast as Spider-Man is expected to be announced very shortly.